Monteith’s Wild Kitchens: The Best of Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge

| September 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

Monteith’s Wild Kitchens: The Best of Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge

By Kerry R Tyack


Fifteen years ago, 12 adventurous chefs in restaurants along Auckland’s Ponsonby Road took a culinary plunge by agreeing to participate in a competition that would test their ability to firstly create two unique and unusual dishes and then pair them with beer.

As with so many things in the kitchen, there was an extra catch; in this case, two catches. The first was that the significant ingredient in their creations had to be something from the wild waters, mountains or forests of New Zealand. The second was that the successful suitors to their dishes, the beer, had to be selected from those produced from a small West Coast
brewery then unknown by most — Monteith’s.

Fifteen years later, the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge has become a stalwart of the New Zealand food scene. This prestigious national challenge sets restaurants, bars and cafés competing against one another to create New Zealand’s ultimate wild food dish.

Monteith’s Wild Kitchens contains the best recipes from the past 15 years of the challenge, along with innovative new recipes from well-known New Zealand chefs.  All the recipes have been adapted for the home cook by writer and beer aficionado Kerry Tyack, making them easy to create in your own kitchen along with a few more challenging recipes for the experienced home cook.

Ingredients that not so long ago were perceived as ‘wild foods’, including possum, tahr, boar, hare and pheasant, are now reasonably commonplace so that participating chefs have to work much harder at coming up with something unusual. In the current Challenge context, ‘wild’ can still mean something non-farmed but it can also mean an unconventional cooking method, an unusual presentation, or an unexpected combination of ingredients, allowing for some creative and exciting recipes.

Some of the ‘wild’ recipes in this book include Best of the West: thyme-marinated venison with Monteith’s Celtic Red cabbage, dauphinoise potato and brandied Blackball bacon glaze; Bugs Bunny Comes t0 Matamata: pan-roasted wild rabbit with kumara and feta, accompanied with Monteith’s Crushed Pear Cider; and Taste of Southern Seas: ceviche of snapper and young coconut accompanied with Monteith’s Radler.

The book also includes an easy-to-use beer and food matching guide, emphasising one of the simple principles of the challenge: if you choose the right beer to accompany the right food, your enjoyment of both will be enhanced.


Monteith's Wild Kitchens


Kerry R Tyack is chief judge and creator of the Monteith’s Beer and Wild Food Challenge, that sees restaurants and home cooks competing for major prizes, by producing the perfect food and beer match.  He has edited a number of Hospitality trade publications and has been a judge of the New Zealand Cheese Awards, the Cervena Plates, BrewNZ, the Corbans Wine and Food Challenge, The National Restaurant Association Restaurant of the Year and the New Zealand Sausage Competition well as being for many years an assessor for the Beer and Lamb Marketing Bureau.  He is the author of five previous books including The Beer Book and New Zealand Beers: A Tasting Guide.

You can purchase a copy of Monteith’s Wild Kitchens HERE.

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